Puzzle rooms are a relatively new concept to some, so based on our experience, and that of some of our first time puzzle room players, we've created a newbie journey of discovery. Basically, read this and you may get an idea of what a live escape room experience is like.
1. Puzzle room novelty vibes: the game host gets you going
The build up to playing your first puzzle room is all part of the experience. The first point of contact at our escape rooms will be one of our illustrious hosts, Gabriel or Wynne. Renowned for a playful and slightly haunting demeanour the host for Lady Chastity’s Reserve, Gabriel, has a rather strange and unpredictable nature. Anxious to please and often found clutching a pocket watch encouraging players to 'hurry'. Here’s some reactions to Gabriel over on TripAdvisor to give you a taste of what’s to come…
“A fully in character, hugely entertaining and somewhat creepy (in a good, atmospheric way) host.” Duncan T, TripAdvisor
“We called upon Gabriel 3 times for help in which he did and it did not spoil but elevated the game even more with fantastic characterisation and his somehow appearing and disappearing act.” Fenrah A, TripAdvisor
“Wow.... brilliant from the moment Gabriel collected us from the bar we were laughing! My daughters who were scared and their Nan said it was the best day out trip they have ever done! Gabriel was amazing he is fantastic didn't want the experience to end!” mrsclaireyoung, TripAdvisor
Over at Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop in North London you'll be greeted by Wynne - a naive and innocent wind-up toy soldier who’s keen to make friends and help you on your escape room journey. Here’s some Wynne love from TripAdvisor:
“Wynne was great and really threw himself into his role and was very funny, loud and sometimes rather manic. He was also very good natured and did not mind being wound up!” Chris B, TripAdvisor
“Wynne was a great host and kept the 'creepy workshop' atmosphere going, he never came out of character once!” Louise H, TripAdvisor
“The setting is amazing and Wynne is really cool in a slightly creepy way…” Jennifer L, TripAdvisor
Once greeted by your host they will guide you and up to 5 friends into the hidden depths of the pub to your game location.
2. Nervous giggles: as your enter the darkened puzzle room
Before you enter the room your designated game host will set the scene by introducing you to the story of Lady Chastity or Poppa Plock before they set you the first challenge to open the door. Once solved, armed with torches you will then enter the puzzle room and immediately become immersed in the imaginary world created by hand for your pleasure. At this point, unless you’re built like a brick house and immune to fear, you’re probably going to go into a fit of nervous giggles as you attempt to take in the surroundings. This is the moment most newbie puzzle room players realise that this isn’t going to be easy or like anything they've ever experienced before. So, basically right now you have no idea what you’re doing, but it looks pretty awesome and you’re gonna give it a try anyway.
Many first time puzzle room players are distracted by the scenery and atmosphere early on. They miss key bits of information that are needed to solve the first set of clues, but never fear you can call on the game host to get you back on track. If you seem lost or have missed an important piece of information Gabriel and Wynne will usually step into help guide you towards that first clue and get the momentum going.
3. Puzzle room click moment: arrogance kicks in, you so got this
Usually with a helpful nudge from our game host, any newbies begin to realise quite quickly how the game works. Once they get used to the idea that they need to listen carefully to any clues from the ghost of Lady Chastity or, indeed, over at Poppa Plock the ventriloquist dummy Oki, they begin to get into the swing of things.
However, quite quickly a mild increase of confidence often evolves into a false sense of security and arrogance. Like impatient untrained warriors diving into a lion's den, mid-way through the game newbie players often become convinced they are now pros and going to smash it. So much so in fact that they get a little too cocky and lose their way as they jump ahead a puzzle or two.
Who needs the help of Lady Chastity? What can a ventriloquist dummy tell you that you don’t already know? Right now you feel like a puzzle room pro and you’re pretty convinced you are going to nail it - easy peasy.
4. Things get hazy: confusion sets in, maybe you don’t got this
So here you are, in the wake of your own cocky mission to skip ahead, but as you discover you only have 30 minutes left you completely draw a blank. You had the momentum going for a while there but may have stopped listening quite so carefully and taken some wrong turns along the way. As you stare aimlessly at the trinkets and obscure items before you, you start to panic. Maybe that bag of bones was worth listening to? And Oki did have something important to tell you?
No time to turn back now, but not to worry just call on your trusty game host who will light the way and help you crack on with the next puzzle. At this point, Gabriel or Wynne often swoop in to save the day for newbies, so you can start to gain momentum and unlock the various clues. As you get back into the rhythm and start unlocking more clues you feel better. Maybe you still got this.
5. Destruction: you could not be more determined to win
The clock is ticking with just 15 minutes to go and you have one or two puzzles left to solve. The team really start to pull together now to solve the clues. You’ve probably established the key strengths of the team so Tim’s focusing on the symbols, Beth is trying to decipher a riddle, Jamie's taken a supporting role for the whole team and Frank - well nobody knows what he’s here for, but he looks sultry in candlelight.
By now you are a puzzle team force to be reckoned with and you refuse to come this far and not win the game. The heat is on, there’s a lot of shouting, confusion and quick thinking going on and you manage to solve your penultimate clue. Tick tock the game host reminds you there’s only 5 minutes left. Can you make it? Can you solve the last mystery and escape the room? Well, we can’t predict this one for you - especially with Frank in tow - but there’s only one way to find out. Just book your game and give it a whirl.
6. Nostalgic feels: you don’t want it to end
The games over and either victorious or with your tail between your legs you are posing for your team photo. Like a kid with a new toy, you enjoyed the change of scene so much and got a burst of energy from the challenge of doing something different. Winners or not, you're feeling good and you don’t want the night to end. As you head back down to the main bar you line up the shots and decide to make a night of it - after all the team deserves it.
Puzzle room play time: What better way to get into the festive spirit?
There you have it, if you haven’t experienced an escape room or puzzle room yet then you now know you're missing out on a buzzing opportunity. Of course, puzzle rooms are not just fun they are the perfect way to bond. So, whether you just want another excuse to get your mates together, have some quality time with the fam or offer alternative ideas for a Christmas work party start browsing our game venues and booking your next puzzle room experience now.
Fancy a treat in the New year? Well, why not buy an escape room Christmas gift voucher for your friends or family. They certainly won’t be expecting that under their tree.